German football coaches to train in China's schools

Updated 2016-11-27 10:16:33 chinadaily.com.cn

German football coaches are expected to take up new jobs to train Chinese students, after the two nations entered into a comprehensive football partnership on Friday.

China's Ministry of Education and German Football Association have signed an agreement to team up on football training in schools, which will give German coaches more opportunities to share their experience with young Chinese people.

China expected that the agreement will help improve the populous country's level of football participation in schools and gradually, its performance in the world.

Visiting Chinese Vice-Premier Liu Yandong was at the signing ceremony, held at the German Chancellery building in Berlin before Liu met German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday.

Liu said football cooperation is the new front of Sino-German cooperation, in which Germany has tremendous experience to share.

Liu also said Merkel, who is a football fan, is quite interested in the untapped potential of this area and that is why the signing ceremony was held at the Chancellery building.

"I think this is very special and only China and Germany could do this way to match each other's advantages," Liu said, adding that China has 500 million football fans.

On her discussion with Merkel on football cooperation at a forum on Friday, Liu said the chancellor had even joked that Germany was helping to cultivate a competitor for itself. "But we know, we have a lot to learn from Germany and we still have a long, long way to go in football sports," Liu said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Merkel have previously discussed forming a football partnership, in response to demand from Chinese football fans.

It is also part of the country's strategy of realizing "health China."

"We are willing to do what people want us to do," Liu said.

Merkel said Germany was very keen to promote girls and women's participation in football in China.

The football leagues of both countries have also signed agreements on exchanges.

Liu is going to participate in a seminar on football cooperation in Koln before she wraps up her three-day visit in Germany on Saturday.

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